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By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk     Trainer Robert Dunn has declared Classie Brigade a big chance in next Tuesday’s IRT New Zealand Cup following his back-to-back win in the Group 2 Alabar Kaikoura Cup.   The 2019 champion stepped to the lead in the 2400 metre feature and despite the challenges held on by half a length from Check In and Ashley Locaz in 2:58.20.  It was driver John Dunn’s third win in the race following on from his success last year and Franco Nelson in 2016.  For Classie Brigade, who was third in last year’s New Zealand Cup, it was his fourth win in five starts, and that had Robert Dunn feeling buoyant ahead of the year’s biggest race in a week.   “He’s a big chance in the Cup, but you look at Self Assured, Spankem and Copy That – I’ve always liked that horse - they are quality horses and it’s not a four way go by any means. But I loved the way my horse stepped and toughed it out.”  Dunn now hoping for a front line draw for the $540,000 Cup so the horse can try and dictate like he did at the South Bay Racecourse.  The two features on Kaikoura Cup day provided very contrasting emotions for Team Dunn. Just half an hour earlier $1.45 favourite Sundees Son was stopped in his tracks in the Group 3 Majestic Son South Bay Trotters Cup.  He was in the one-one and looked likely when Matua Tana broke in front of him, taking him out of the race.   “John (driver) said he was just cruising at the time,” says Dunn.   In a long career Dunn (senior) has seen plenty of highs and lows and was trying to be philosophical, though clearly he was still thinking about what could have been.  "But what can you do?” said Dunn who is now eyeing up trotting's biggest race, the Dominion, on Show Day.  “He is a creature of habit this horse, and if he’d broken up by himself you’d be concerned but he didn’t. He’s absolutely flying. So all you can do is move on.”  In Dunn’s case it’s all about moving on to the New Zealand Cup draw on Wednesday hoping luck will go his way.  With Sundees Son out of commission Majestic Lavros was the one to benefit. The Mark Jones-trained trotter stepped well and went to the lead and once Samantha Ottley heard from the on-course commentary that her biggest threat had broken she was confident the race was in safe keeping.  “We set him for this race so it’s very pleasing. We had to make it hard for the backmarkers. We thought if we get to the top and roll along, and he certainly did that.”  Majestic Lavros winning time was 3:00.10, a new race record. She was also the first female driver to win the Group 3 race.    “Yeah, that’s pretty cool.”  In the day’s third big race, the $50,000 PGG Wrightson Sales Series Aged Classic Handicap Pace, William Wallace toughed it out in a competitive finish for driver Blair Orange and trainer Mitchell Kerr.  The horse stepped well and pressed on for the lead and then held on, with Bad To The Bone finishing second.  

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Patience is a virtue and one which driver Sarah O’Reilly had in spades at the picturesque but tight-turning Kaikoura track on Sunday. The talented junior driver was thrown a curve ball in the Road Metals/Kiwi Concrete Junior Drivers Mobile Pace (1900m) starting from the outside of the front-row with Laver. But she followed trainer Geoff and James Dunn’s instructions to a T, taking the four-year-old gelding back to bide their time at the rear of the field before looming wide turning for home where Laver was able to gobble up his opposition and run away to a five-length victory. Geoff Dunn was particularly pleased to get the victory with the son of his former eight-time Group One winner Venus Serena. “I was rapt with it,” Dunn said. “It had to be run the right way because he was drawn so bad. I was hoping they would go really fast today because he is really tough. “I thought he could run over the top of them, it just had to play the right way and it did.” Dunn admitted to being a bit frustrated with the rating system when it came to Lavec and he has been a bit disheartened by his numerous wide draws. “He is very tough and loves a hot pace, but because of his grading at the moment he keeps drawing terrible and because he is consistent he never drops down a point,” Dunn said. “We had to hope the race was run like it was, and it was perfect.” Dunn will be hoping for more success at Kaikoura on Monday when he lines-up Maurice in The Joiner Shop Pace (2400m). The son of Sir Lincoln has just had the two start’s for Dunn for a win and a placing, and he is hoping that form will continue on Monday. “He is really well and is working good,” Dunn said. “The only thing is the draw again. He has drawn 13 which around Kaikoura you are going to need a bit of luck. “He seems like a good beginner, I haven’t had him very long but he has got a good standing start record and he has done it well at home, so fingers-crossed he begins well and gets a nice run.”

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk    Tango Tara will have his final hit-out at Kaikoura on Monday ahead of the Gr.1 IRT New Zealand Trotting Cup (3200m) at Addington Raceway on November 10. Trainer and driver Jim Curtin is pleased with the five-year-old ahead of Monday’s assignment, but drawing nine on the tight-turning Kaikoura track is his biggest concern. “He’s nice and bright, he has just got a tricky draw,” the Templeton horseman said. “He has drawn one on the second line, so that’s the tricky thing, especially at Kaikoura where you have to be pretty handy early.” Tango Tara has placed in three of his last four starts, including the Gr.2 Canterbury Classic (2600m) and Gr.3 Hannon Memorial (2600m) and Curtin is hoping for a similar result on Monday. “He went a good race last start, the winner was just a bit too good for him,” Curtin said. “When we scoped him he had a little bit of mucus, but everything seems to be good there now. “He has been pretty consistent and has been running some good times.” Tango Tara is currently fourth in order of entry for the New Zealand Cup and Curtin is delighted to have a runner in the time-honoured race. “It’s always good to be in there that’s for sure, it’s pretty hard to have one good enough to be in there,” he said. On Monday, Curtin will also line-up Kerala Star in the Kaikoura Waste Services Mobile Pace (1900m). “Karela Star has been racing quite well with not much luck,” Curtin said. “He has got a good draw, and has had one workout and went alright, so he should go alright.” Curtin will also take the reins behind Kruizr in the Listed PGG Wrightson Sales Series Aged Classic (2400m) for trainer Michael House. “He has been racing alright,” Curtin said. “He has got a good draw (2) so needs to step well and get a good run.”

Welcome to the Harness Analyst series where we take a look at New Zealand's harness racing with free previews,tips and reviews of trials and the previous weeks racing. Harness racing hits Kaikoura today with a six race program starting at 12:17pm. We highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good day of racing. The content and data is provided for informational purposes only   Kaikoura selections 3rd November 2020   Race 1 Blue Chip Delight  has had  slight freshen up but good from a stand and has speed. Can win at good odds.…… Unico Gem good stepper who will probably lead for a long way here. Gets into a winnable race off the front and can upset… Fortunia draw not great but has been racing stronger fields. Can upset with a soft run in transit……..Lennox Bromac racing well in similar fields and drawn ok. Good chance here Selections:  Unico Gem (5),   Blue Chip Delight  (1),   Fortunia (9),    Lennox Bromac (2)   Race 2 Kerala Star pacer who has been unlucky on many occasions. Could go forward early and hard to beat with a soft run in transit . ……. Blazing Impact has ability and the draw and should be handy early . Good winning claims here …… Admirable has been good at recent workouts and can run top three with top driver on board. Stable does well on the track…… Huego Bos coming from a strike rate stable with a good draw and nice at trials. Can win Selections:  Blazing Impact (3),   Kerala Star (1),   Admirable (9),   Huego Bos (11)   Race 3 Listen Easy has been running good races at workouts and has drawn to get a run through early. Hard to beat with manners….. Black Jacket tricky draw but workout and trial form ok. Can upset at good odds with luck in the running  ….. One Over All draw not great but he is a front runner who will appreciate the bias. Can win…. Tequila Sunset nice draw and has been racing ok. Place chance at longer odds Selections:   Listen Easy (6),  Tequila Sunset (1),   One Over All (11),   Black Jacket (8)   Race 4 Down The Hatch northern form is strong and loom for a strong showing here. Top selection ….. Majorca likes to race near the lead and could be hard to catch if she found the front early. Winning claims….. Eastwood Isabella disappointing in some of his races. Has ability and could place with a cart into the race…. Arden's Delight racing well and drawn inside her major rivals. Chance if the pace is on all the way Selections:   Down The Hatch (12),   Majorca (9),   Eastwood Isabella (3),   Arden's Delight (5)   Race 5 Fabrizio coming in fresh and big on ability. Has the speed to win this from the tricky draw…… That Alexander Guy tricky draw but in top form and has blistering gate speed. Will suit a strong pace in the race and can win… Under Wraps getting better with racing and will be running on late. Top three player in this field….. A Taste Of Honey racing ok and distance will suit here. Can run top three with luck Selections:  Fabrizio (4),   That Alexander Guy (1),   A Taste Of Honey (6),   Under Wraps (5)   Race 6 Andoverlov this field no stronger than the one he beat last start. Can win again.…..I Dream Of Jeannie tidy draw and she can ping the tapes. Should be thereabouts…… Idle Stuartia has been racing ok and drawn well. Place chances best.… Global Flight out of form but at his best would be right in this. Include at longer odds Selections:  Andoverlov (6),   Idle Stuartia (8),   Global Flight (1),   I Dream Of Jeannie (2)   Race 7 Sundees Son brilliant trotter in great form but manners the key here. Could go forward early and hard to beat if he can lead . ……. Majestic Lavros has ability and the draw and should be handy early . Good winning claims here …… Tough Monarch Aussie representative who has a decent motor and can foot it with the best NZ trotters. Needed…… Heavyweight Hero good stepper who ran home well last start for second. Can win Selections:  Heavyweight Hero (3),   Sundees Son (1),   Majestic Lavros (9),   Tough Monarch (11)   Race 8 Classie Brigade has been running good races drawn to lead here. Hard to beat with manners….. Ashley Locaz tricky draw but stable has a good record in the race. Can upset at good odds with luck in the running  ….. Tango Tara draw not great but is aiming for the NZ Cup next week. Place chances best…. Henry Hubert tricky draw but has been racing ok. Top driver booked and has place claims here at longer odds Selections:   Classie Brigade (6),  Ashley Locaz (1),   Tango Tara (11),   Henry Hubert (8)   Race 9 Bad To The Bone northern form is strong and ace draw a big advantage. Top selection ….. Above N Beyond likes to race near the lead and could be hard to catch if hhe found the front early. Winning claims….. Belmont Major bit disappointing last start. Has ability and could place with a cart into the race…. Mikey Maguire racing ok but tricky draw. Chance at huge odds if the pace is on all the way Selections:   Bad To The Bone (12),   Above N Beyond (9),   Belmont Major (3),   Mikey Maguire (5)   Race 10 Medusa running on late last start and gets in well off the front. Can win at longer odds…… Zsa Zoe tricky draw but in top form and has won a couple of times on the track. Will suit a strong pace in the race and can win… Rydgemont Milly getting better with racing and will be running on late. Top three player in this field….. Majestic Hurricane racing ok but suspect manners. Can run top three with a clean getaway Selections:  Zsa Zoe (4),   Rydgemont Milly (1),   Medusa (6),   Majestic Hurricane (5)   Race 11 Cranbourne this field not much stronger than the one he beat last start. Can win again.….. Jawbreaker(AUS)  tidy draw and he has gate speed. Should be thereabouts…… Smiffy's Terror has been racing ok and drawn well. Place chances best.… Longview Lady racing well but tricky draw. Will be finishing fast and needed here. Selections:  Cranbourne (6),   Jawbreaker (8),   Longview Lady (1),   Smiffy's Terror (2)   Harnesslink Media

Welcome to the Harness Analyst series where we take a look at New Zealand's harness racing with free previews,tips and reviews of trials and the previous weeks racing. Harness racing hits Kaikoura today with a six race program starting at 2:47pm. We highlight some specials and value runners we think can give you a run for your money on a good day of racing. The content and data is provided for informational purposes only Kaikoura selections 1st November 2020 Best Bet:            Race 4   Beaver Value Bet:           Race 8    Monrika     Race 1 Senorita Margarita fast off the mobile and could take some catching around the tight track. Can win at good odds.…… Donegal Carrickfin local runner who is out of form but coming in fresh might help. Gets into a winnable race off the front. Winning claims… Jenabella draw not great but has been racing stronger fields. Can upset with a soft run in transit…….. Dreaminsover racing well in similar fields and drawn for a soft fence run. Good chance here Selections:  Donegal Carrickfin (7),   Senorita Margarita (5),   Jenabella (6),    Dreaminsover (1)   Race 2 Mentalist has been going well at recent workouts and field not strong. One of the major players here. ……. Under And Over has ability but manners a concern . Should be winning if he can get away cleanly at the start …… Zsahara has been close up in similar fields and could run top three with a good run in the race. Stable does well on the track…… Emma Louise coming back in good condition and top driver on with a good draw. All points to a good chance in the race. Can win Selections:  Under And Over (9),   Emma Louise (2),   Mentalist (12),   Zsahara (3)   Race 3 Mossman has been running good races against better fields and has drawn to get a run through early. Hard to beat at short odds….. Baker Creek  tricky draw but workout and trial form ok. Can upset at good odds with luck in the running  ….. Contractual Issues draw not great but he has the speed to be chance with one run at them. One for longer odds…. Hayden Bromac nice draw and has been racing ok. Place chances best here Selections:   Mossman (10),  Hayden Bromac (4),   Contractual Issues (8),   Baker Creek  (9)   Race 4 Beaver two placings in strong fields point to a strong showing here. Top selection ….. Emma's Boy  likes to race near the lead and could be hard to catch if he found the front early. Winning claims….. Soviet Star disappointing in some of his races. Has ability and could place with a cart into the race…. Loyalist racing well but drawn badly. Chance if the pace is on all the way Selections:   Beaver (10),   Loyalist (15),   Emma's Boy  (6),   Soviet Star (8)   Race 5 Southerly Change coming in fresh and big on ability. Has the speed to win this and nice odds…… Square Dealer tricky draw but in top form. Will suit a strong pace in the race and can win… Wyatt Waller getting better with racing and will be running on late. Top three player in this field….. Dhaulagiri racing ok and distance will suit here. Can run top three with luck Selections:  Southerly Change (10),   Square Dealer (11),   Wyatt Waller (12),   Dhaulagiri (5)   Race 6 Monrika gate speed to lead if they push the button. Form is better than it looks on paper and she could surprise at good odds.…..          Sioux Princess tricky draw and will go back at the start. Can win with a good cart into the race…… Majestic Chick has been racing ok and drawn well. Place chances best.… The Bloss out of form but at her best would be right in this. Include at longer odds Selections:  Monrika (8),   Sioux Princess (12),   Majestic Chick (2),   The Bloss (7)   Harnesslink Media

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk  Southland trainer Mark Shirley is hoping for some 2011 Rugby World Cup-type heroics from his first ever starter at Kaikoura on Sunday. Shirley, who trains in partnership with his wife Debbie, will line up Beaver in Race 4 at South Bay Racecourse, after two placings in his opening two starts down south. The horse is named after All Black Stephen Donald and Shirley says the horse has similar characteristics to the famous rugby player “He’ll never let you down”. But Shirley does have one big reservation after drawing 10 . “If he was drawn off the front row he’d be a good chance, but it’s now in the lap of the gods off the second row, I’m hoping for some Blair Orange magic.” “He’s a strong horse, and he follows the speed, so the faster the better.” There are six races on Sunday, with Monday the feature meeting. It includes the Group 3 Majestic Son South Bay Trotters Cup where Sundees Son will start favourite, as will stable-mate Classie Brigade in the Group 2 Kaikoura Cup. This is the first time Mark Shirley has raced horses at Kaikoura but the seaside spot is a popular and regular hang-out for wife Debbie as her brother Shane Smedley lives there. “He owns the Kaikoura bakery – it’s only closed two days of the year, Christmas day and the day of the Kaikoura races!” Mark was in charge of the 740 kilometre two-day float trip from Invercargill with Beaver a mate for the stable’s very good trotter in Rydgemont Milly, who won the last of her nine races at Forbury Park a month ago. She lines up on Monday in race 10 against the likes of Majestic Hurricane and Didjabringthebeers. “She’s a lovely wee mare but in the past she hasn’t travelled well. But it’s a small field and if she’s well she could be in the money.” The plan is then to start her in a supporting race at Addington on Show Day. But before then it’s Beaver’s turn to see if he can kick some goals at Kaikoura, just the same as Donald did at Eden Park on that day in October nine years ago.    

It’s Marlborough anniversary weekend and that means one thing – the annual races at Kaikoura. The ever popular South Bay racecourse will host six races on Sunday before the Kaikoura Cup meeting on Monday. It usually attracts thousands of visitors from all over the South island and to get an insight in what it’s all about we spoke with current Kaikoura Club president Ben Smith. His family has lived in the area for a hundred years and they also bred the all-conquering trotter that was Lyell Creek. The first race on Sunday starts at 2.47pm, with Monday’s racing getting underway at 12.17pm.

With its back straight running adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, the South Bay Racecourse at Kaikoura has been hailed as one of the most scenic racing venues anywhere. “It’s like nowhere else in the world,” says Vice President Grant Anderson. And they do things differently to the big City meetings. “We don’t have a full-time care-taker we all just do it. There’s a huge amount of hard work put in by our committee.” Formed in 1914, the Club currently holds just one two-day meeting a year on Marlborough anniversary weekend (late October-early November). There’s a lower grade six-race twilight meeting on the Sunday, followed by the more traditional Kaikoura Cup meeting.   It is very much destination racing, with racing fans coming from all the South Island and beyond for what is a unique experience. Anderson said “We pack it out with 10,000 plus …   the campervans arrive Tuesday and that’s for the racing the following Sunday and Monday” It’s a key lead-up to the New Zealand Cup meeting at Addington the following week, and while the track is fast it can be tricky especially for horses back in the field because of its lack of camber. The race record for the Kaikoura Cup is held by Lazarus. In 2017 the $1.10 favourite, driven by Mark Purdon,  was parked for most of the 2400 metres only to clear out and win in 2:54.3,  a second quicker than the old mark.  Lazarus went on to win his second New Zealand Cup. A number of horses have done that double over the years with another Purdon horse Il Vicolo doing it twice in 1995 and 96. Others include Arden Rooney in 2015, and Trusty Scot as far back as  1978. Among the two time winners of the Kaikoura Cup are Master Musician (1992-93) and Smiling Shard (2010-11)  while last year’s  New Zealand Cup winner Cruz Bromac finished second to Classie Brigade only to go one better on that second Tuesday of November. With its seaside vistas and buzzing crowds Kaikoura is one of the more television-friendly venues for harness racing, and as Grant Anderson proudly says: “the people just keep coming back.”​   Harness Racing New Zealand

It's one of our most iconic harness racing events, and this year Mike Thorpe of Seven Sharp was oncourse to share the secret of what makes this day so special.

By Jonny Turner Inter-island trainer Robert Dunn created history by notching his 1500th win in New Zealand in sensation fashion when Heisenberg headed a stable trifecta just minutes after Classie Brigade won the Kaikoura Cup on Monday. Classie Brigade reminded punters he has the game and manners to be a New Zealand Cup contender with a fast beginning to set himself up for a front-running win with Dunn’s son, John, in the sulky. The perfect dress rehearsal for New Zealand’s greatest harness race took Dunn to career win 1449, before the trainer made triply sure he would reach 1500 wins. When the field turned for home in the Yearling Sales Aged Classic, there was almost no chance that it would not be a Dunn runner hitting the line first. Eventually, Heisenberg sealed the trainer’s milestone win, holding out his stablemates Stars Tonight and Franco Niven. Heisenberg winning the $50,000 Aged Classic Dunn’s 1500-win record includes 19 group 1 victories spread across some of New Zealand’s greatest races. The trainer said he rates the notching his 1500 wins and the style it came in at Kaikoura as big as any thrill he has had during his career of more than 40 years.  “To go one-two-three is quite amazing,” Dunn said. “That is right up there with all of my biggest thrills.” “To have three special owners – Ross and Angela Gordon, Dean and Allen Neumann and their wives Judy and Christine and their family and friends, and Ian Dobson.” “To have three of my biggest owners going one-to-three is something you only dream about really.” Dunn’s next focus will firmly be on both the Interdominions and next week’s New Zealand Cup Carnival. Beyond that, the trainer is looking to throw back to the days of Master Musician – the horse that put him on harness racing’s biggest stages early in his training career.   Dunn’s horses could revisit some of the destinations the winner of almost $2,000,000 took the trainer during his prolific career across Australasia. “We might have to do a bit of travelling this season, we have got a lot of nice horses coming through.” “Australia could be beckoning some of our trotters – but we will get through the Interdominions first.” Dunn’s 1500th win followed a wave of success from his family that has peaked in the past month. The trainer’s son, Dexter, confirmed his status as one of hottest reinsman in North America with two wins at the star studded Breeders Crown meeting in Canada, recently. Dexter’s elder brother, John, has been keeping up the family name in lights back home, recently passing 1100 driving wins. He sealed his father’s milestone win with Heisenberg with the same kind of well rated, front running drive he produced on Classie Brigade. Father and son could enjoy their biggest thrill in racing together if the 7yr-old can win the New Zealand Cup. With the same kind of beginning he made in his Kaikoura Cup win, Classie Brigade should put himself in a position to strike.   Classie Brigade winning the Kaikoura Cup The Robert and John Dunn combination sealed their brilliant day out at the picturesque Kaikoura Cup meeting by completing a hat-trick of wins in its final three races. John produced his third consecutive front-running drive to win with Jay Tee Tyron. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

TAB News Pick6 this week - $25K Pick Six Oamaru Thursday. $25K Pick Six at Alexandra Park Friday Bonus Quaddies Friday - Alexandra Park Night Harness: $10k BONUS LATE Quaddie Last 4 Races Sunday - Tuapeka Harness: $10k BONUS LATE Quaddie Last 4 Races   Alexandra Park News – Friday 25 October Alexandra Park Christmas at the Races  |  November & December Plan the perfect Christmas Party to celebrate the end of the year with Alexandra Park Christmas at the Races. Enjoy a delicious Christmas buffet surrounded by colleagues, friends and family. We’ve got premier harness racing action featuring the IRT Inter Dominion Championship and live entertainment after the last race. Don’t delay as this is our busiest time of year, head to to get your tickets! IRT Inter Dominion Championship Series  |  November & December Witness the ultimate test of equine speed and strength at this years’ IRT Inter Dominion Championship Series at Alexandra Park throughout November and December. Start with the Welcome Cocktail Party being held at the Rydges Rooftop Terrace on Thursday 28th November. Then get absolutely engulfed in harness racing action with the IRT ID19 heats (29th November, 3rd December, 6th December). Don’t miss the Barrier Draw Brunch at The Alex Bar & Eatery on Sunday 8th December to get you amped up for the GRAND FINAL on Saturday 14th December where you’ll see the best of the best go head to head to take out the championship! Keen to find out more information? Go to   Addington Raceway and Events Centre – Friday 25 October Hello Everyone, This Friday is the last race meeting prior to Cup Week!  Good luck to all horses and connections racing this Friday! It is all go!  The team are working hard for our biggest week!  We are track with our build schedule.  We have installed 3 marquees, 118 still to go!  Addington Cup Week Hospitality – wait listing only Corporate Hospitality  - is all sold out for both days.  If you are still looking for tickets, please call the lovely Joanne McMaster on 021 0298 5972 or email her on and I am sure she will be able to assist.  LIMITED TICKETS LEFT -  TAB Trackside Retreat -  For the ultimate betting experience with friends or colleagues there is no better place to view all the top racing action.  TAB Trackside Retreat is positioned in a reserved area in The Edge Public Village directly in line with the 75m mark.  It has easy access to a private viewing area and direct views to the large screen.  10 SEATS LEFT - Reserved Seating Tickets – only $65 per person + booking fee - A reserved seat offers prime viewing to capture all the entertainment and thrilling racing action.  Anyone booking a reserved ticket is able to access everything that is available in the General Admission area!  SHOW DAY RACES – There will be no public surcharges, and entry will be by gold coin donation to Maia Health Foundation.   SPECTATORS BAR & BISTRO - A seat in Spectators to watch all the racing action on TV’s or via the exclusive outdoor area to the Lindauer Lawn.  You’ll have the opportunity to order one of Spectators famous pizzas amongst other delicious treats, snacks and refreshments off the menu. 2019 Spectators Bar & Bistro Ticket Prices: Adult (available 2 Sept until sold out) – $30 per person + booking fee Children (aged 14 years and under) – Free (limited tickets) There are numerous public areas available with your gold coin entry including the Lindauer and Blanc de Blanc Lawns, Twiggers and the Christian Cullen Lounge where tasty Kiwi treats and refreshments will be available. Have a great week everyone.  We look forward to hosting you soon!     Tuapeka at Forbury – Sunday 27 October TUAPEKA FAMILY RACE DAY AT FORBURY PARK THIS SUNDAY A wonderful day for the whole family is in store when the Tuapeka Harness Racing Club hold their popular annual family race day at Forbury Park in Dunedin this Sunday (27 October). 8 races are scheduled from 12.30pm with the feature event, the Tuapeka Lodge Cup, raced over a distance of 2700m for a stake of $15,000. Admission is free and in addition to ten high quality harness races the club will have plenty of fun for the whole family all day long. The first 100 children on course will receive a free Blueboy ice cream while there will also be plenty of free activities for the kids with a bouncy castle, mini jeeps plus a facepainter. While on course enjoy a meal at the Equinox Restaurant & Bar while their will also be a coffee vendor on course. If you are looking for something to do with the family on the Sunday of Labour Weekend then the Tuapeka Harness Racing meeting at Forbury Park in Dunedin is the place to be.   Harness Racing Waikato Melbourne Cup Day @ Cambridge Raceway  Join us at Cambridge Raceway and enjoy live coverage of The Melbourne Cup on the big screen followed by on course Harness Racing action. Our Public Bar provides the perfect spot for the live broadcast and promises to be a great afternoon (and evening) of entertainment.  All welcome on the day with FREE ENTRY to the public bar. There is also the option to click on the link to reserve a table for only $20 & enjoy a a bucket of 4x Corona on arrival.     Date: Tuesday 5th November 2019 Location: Public Bar (ground floor), Cambridge Raceway Timings: 12:00pm – Doors open 12:30pm – 5.30pm, Live coverage of the Melbourne Cup 6:09pm – First race 9.50- Last race Price: FREE ENTRY Book a table: $20 & receive a bucket of 4x Corona* on arrival  Head to- to book! *Alcohol will not be served to anyone intoxicated or under the age of 18. The owners of each race winner on the day will receive a special gift basket as well as well as hospitality in the Presidents Room where crayfish will be part of the menu. The first race is scheduled from 12.24pm and admission to the course is free.   Kaikoura Trotting Club – November 3 and 4 The Kaikoura Trotting Club is already preparing for the annual Alabar Weekend of Racing at South Bay Racecourse to be held this year on Sunday November 3 and Monday November 4. Working bees are underway, and the club are calling for trainers to please contact them in advance to arrange horse accommodation and assistance with any accommodation for trainers/drivers and owners. Minimum stake on Sunday’s twilight meeting is $8,000, with other races with stakes of $9,000 and $11,000.  The Club will pay all non-stake winners an additional $100 to assist in transport costs for this day. On Alabar Kaikoura Cup Day on Monday the minimum stake is $10,000. If anyone has any questions or wants to book their accommodation for horses please contact the club directly or Grant Anderson on 027 450 5468   Cheviot Harness Racing Club – Stallion Tenders The Cheviot Harness Racing Club has two stallion tenders on offer. DOWNBYTHESEASIDE – a son of Somebeachsomewhere Equal fastest 2yo in Standardbred history, paced 1.49 - Breeders Crown Final 2019/20 Service Fee RRP – $6,000+GST. PEGASUS SPUR – sire of Speeding Spur Sire of Speeding Spur – now competing at the highest level in the USA Sire of Paramount Gee Gee 2019/20 Service Fee RRP – $3,000+GST. Please send all tenders before then to     HRNZ

By Garrick Knight A national record run has forced trainer Steve Telfer’s hand with his stable star, Triple Eight. He took out the $30,000 Kerry Hoggard Memorial – Holmes D G in a thrilling finish with Mach Shard, the two capitalising on a break-neck speed that played perfectly in to their hands. Both started from handicaps but ended up getting sweet trips in the running line which allowed them to fight out the finish, Triple Eight prevailing in 3.17.2. It was a remarkable time that shaved 2.4 seconds off the previous mark, set by Vincent. Telfer purposely avoided nominating for the New Zealand Cup, saying the Inter Dominions at Alexandra Park at the end of the year were the clear focus. And while that still remains, Triple Eight will now head south for two races, contrary to earlier plans. “Looking at the programme at Auckland, and knowing he needs some good hard runs to prepare him for the Inter Dominions, we are going to send him south next week. “So, we’ll go to Kaikoura and then the junior free for all on Cup Day. “But that will be it; he’ll come home and prepare for the Inters after that.” Stablemate Check In will also head south to race, joining stablemates, Ivana Flybye and Flying Steps, who are already down there. Earlier in the night, one of the stable’s best three-year-olds, Mimi E Coco, resumed with an all-the-way win in the hands of David Butcher. She has classic potential according to Telfer, but will need to be expertly-managed to realise that. “It’s early in the season but she gives you that feel of a horse that will be up to the better fillies’ races later on. “She has a lot to learn though – at the moment she is a lot better in behind. “David was saying she was switching off and needed a horse up beside her to keep her mind on the job.” The name, according to her breeder and part-owner, Scott Plant, was chosen on a whim while he and his wife were on an overseas holiday. “Initially she was going to be called The Last Mach but my wife didn’t like that. “We were talking about in a café in the south of France and on the wall was a sign that said Mimi E Coco. “I said what about that? And she liked it so we went with it.” It’s actually Italian and language experts spoken to by HRNZ suggested it refers to ‘soulmates’ or a couple displaying extreme levels of love for one another.   Old friends combine with Sole Ambition Sole Ambition is one of those horses everyone would like to own. His front-running win on Friday night capped off a consistent run of form for trainer Barry Purdon, who owns the son of Bettor’s Delight with American-based expat Kiwi trainer, Chris Ryder. “I’ve known Chris for as long as I can remember – we got right back to the eighties when he was training here.” Ryder, who owns star trotter Oscar Bonavena with Purdon’s father, Roy, also has ownership interests in Henry Hu, Bad To The Bone and three other unraced horses in the stable. He looks like being the best performer to date out of former champion race mare One Dream, who has been somewhat disappointing at stud. There’s no real story to tell behind the rise of Sole Ambition – just a good, honest horse that keeps getting better, like all the stock of his sire. “He’s really stepped up recently and kept on improving,” said Purdon. Purdon was non-committal on the immediate future for the horse but says, at this stage, sending him to America to race for Ryder was not on the cards. Purdon had a decent night at the office with Thumbs Up clearing maidens and Sunny Glenis getting another win while he also had placings with Henry Hu, Wainui Creek and Mach Shard. The latter was narrowly beaten by Triple Eight again but lost no admirers in a New Zealand record run. “He’s a pretty damn good horse, I think. “We’ve been patient with him and he’s just continually gotten a bit better. “He’ll race here again on the 25th and then go south for the Cup trial and the Cup.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

It was a terrible weekend for two of New Zealand's best harness horses. Former Horse of the Year winners Lazarus and Monbet both suffered big setbacks and the immediate or even long-term futures of both are in doubt. Lazarus was a shock last in the Breeders Crown open male pace at Pocono Downs in the United States yesterday afternoon (NZ time) dropping out after leading to miss a place for only the second time in his career in the race won by his arch rival McWicked. Clearly the champion New Zealand pacer was ailing in some way and it will now be interesting to see whether his connections continue his campaign, bring him back for next season or if he is retired to stud. It wasn't a total disaster for New Zealand-breds at the Breeders Crown though with former Kiwi mare Shartin taking out the mare's open pace to cement her crown as North America's queen of pacing. While Lazarus's connections will mull over his options the trainers of NZ's best trotter Monbet have had that taken away from them as the seven-year-old, who was supposed to return to racing at Kaikoura today, has been sidelined indefinitely. Monbet has't raced for two years and trialled last Wednesday but was found to have a splint bone problem that will require an operation as doubts loom over whether he will ever make it back to the track. Meanwhile, the confusing road to the New Zealand Trotting Cup in 15 days' time takes its next step at Kaikoura today when leading hopes Eamon Maguire, Cruz Bromac and Star Galleria clash in the $50,000 Cup. All three are racing well enough to win but the start of the 2400m stand will be crucial as the flat Kaikoura track is no fun for those coming wide and if any of the trio were able to lead they would become the one to beat. Speeding Spur headlines a talented field for the main trot today, with his connections confident he can overcome a 10m handicap.   Michael Guerin

Kaikoura harness racing fixed odds movers as at 12:10pm   Race 1 - The only two runners wanted here are Belle Of Brooklyn $4.80 and Motu Better Be Quick $2.05 - $1.90 with that runner leading multi betting over the former runner.    Race 2 - The largest early bet is $2,200 Trouble Giero at $7.00 and he is now into $5.50. Miracle Rising $2.70 easily leads multi betting over Foreverman $3.70.   Race 3 - Shenandoah $2.20 - $1.75 is easily the best backed runner on the card early with the largest bets of $2,222 at $1.90 & $2,500 at $1.80 (X 2). Also well backed has been Nandolo $12.00 - $4.80.    Race 4 - Punters only want to be on Times Stride $2.00 - $1.85 and Hail Christian $3.40 - $2.80. Largest bets Times Stride $2,000 at $2.00, $2,222 at $1.90 & $2,500 at $1.80 and Hail Christian $800 at $3.25 & $1,000 at $2.80. Times Stride easily leads multi betting over Hail Christian.   Race 5 - Real Torque $8.50 - $4.50 easily leads win betting over Rainy River $12.00 - $10.00. Largest early win bets Real Torque $1,000 at $6.80 and Rainy River $500 & $300 at $12.00.   Race 6 - Pat's Delight $2.10 - $1.80 easily leads win and multi betting.   Race 7 - Bordeaux $2.30 is easily the best backed in win and multi betting with the next best backed in win betting Destiny Jones $8.50.   Race 8 - Lazarus $1.18 - $1.13 is obviously the best backed runner in win and multi betting (holding 95% of multi bets). The largest early win bet $3,000 at $1.15 Lazarus.    Race 9 - Major Hippie $5.20 - $4.80 leads win betting over Mongolian Hero $5.80 & Franco Texas $11.50 - $11.00.   Best backed multi runners in order: R8 - Lazarus $1.13 R6 - Pat's Delight $1.80  R7 - Bordeaux $2.30  R3 - Shenandoah $1.75  R4 - Times Stride $1.85  R1 - Motu Bettor Be Quick $1.90   R2 - Miracle Rising $2.70    Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

The mindset of just one rival driver could determine whether Lazarus enjoys an effortless New Zealand Cup warm up at Kaikoura today. The country's best pacer is the $1.18 bookies favourite for the $50,000 Kaikoura Cup, his final race before his New Zealand Cup defence in 15 days. After two wins in as many starts this campaign and without stablemates Dream About Me, Have Faith In Me and Heaven Rocks among his six rivals today, anything but a victory for Lazarus would surprise and cause a shift in the New Zealand Cup market. But for all its beauty, the Kaikoura track can be a nightmare for punters as its flat bends enormously favour leaders and plenty of good horses have had their journey to the New Zealand Cup run aground at Kaikoura. Today that snag could be Titan Banner, a former stablemate of Lazarus racing in wonderful form now back with former trainer Graeme Anderson. Titan Banner led in the middle stages and parked Dream About Me to win the Methven Cup two weeks ago and has the standing start manners to attempt the same today. He is very quick from a standing start and could be the first of the favoured pair to the markers. Then the question of the race will be asked. Will his driver Dexter Dunn want to stay in front and run hard over the 2400m or will he be happy to concede that role to Lazarus should trainer-driver Mark Purdon come knocking, knowing there are richer targets in the weeks ahead? If the answer is the latter Lazarus's army of punters should be in for an easy ride as the champ has never been run past in a race, so if he leads he wins. But if Titan Banner parks him out then those taking the short odds could be in for an uncomfortable last lap. As much as Lazarus is probably two, maybe more, lengths better than Titan Banner, around Kaikoura the $1.18 is too short because of that question alone. Northerners Better B Amazed and No Doctor Needed have drawn wide and probably need fast beginnings to be factors in the race whereas the remaining two Purdon-Rasmussen pacers Waikiki Beach and Piccadilly Princess are still very much on the way up. The Cup isn't the only feature today in which Dunn might play catch me if you can as he pilots free-goer Bordeaux in the $30,000 South Bay Trotters Cup. The bold chestnut is sticking to standing start races heading into the Dominion on November 17 and won this race last year with step and run tactics. With the open class trotting ranks a mess without Monbet and Speeding Spur, Bordeaux has the chance over the summer to bank some serious coin if he can stay sound and keep his manners intact and victory today would earn him valuable respect for Cup week. Michael Guerin

There is some great harness racing action again this week, with the highlights being the Alabar Kaikoura Cup Flying and Majestic Son South Bay Trotters Cup at Kaikoura on Monday.  Gavin Smith had the best winning dividend last week when Great Things Happen won the mile race at Ashburton paying $4.10 and $1.70 on the tote. This week there is a good spread of selections split between the five meetings programmed. Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in after the deadline, so check back often. Forbury on Thursday night Brad Williamson - Brad says his best chance this week is​ Our Gracie at Forbury in Race 1 Terry Chmiel - Terry is going for Overarm as his best chance this week at Forbury in Race 2 Geoff Knight - Geoff thinks his best chance this week is Silver Dale at Forbury in Race 6 Rory Mcllwrick - Rory thinks that Fiery Ferret would be his best drive this week at Forbury in Race 7   Auckland on Friday night Tony Herlihy - Tony thinks that Moving Money would be his best chance this week in Race 2 Stephen Richardson(TAB) - Stephen thinks that Step Up will be hard to beat also in Race 2 Racechat - Lance thinks Destined For Heaven is a good winning chance also in Race 2 Todd Macfarlane - Todd says his best chance would be George if he is on his best behaviour in Race 4 Andre Poutama - Andre is going for Will Take Charge as his best drive this week in Race 10   Invercargill on Sunday Blair Orange - Blair says that Sarah Burt would be his best drive this week at Ascot park in Race 1 Sheree Tomlinson - Sheree thinks her best drive this week would be Sundons Wish in Race 3 Brent Barclay - Brent thinks his best drive would be Erin Jaccka this week at Ascot park in Race 5 Matthew Williamson - Matthew is opting for Eja Patron as his best drive this week also in Race 5 Andrew Suddaby - Andrew is going for Larch as his best bet this week at Ascot park in Race 6 Shane Walkinshaw - Shane says his best chance this week is Sportzstar at Invercargill in Race 9 Nathan Williamson - Nathan says his best chance this week could be Franco Santino in Race 10   Kaikoura on Sunday Gavin Smith - Gavin is opting for Pembrookes Passion as his best chance this week in Race 4 John Morrison - John thinks his best drive this week is Dorie Delight at Kaikoura in Race 5   Kaikoura on Monday Mark Jones - Mark is going for Belle Of Brooklyn as his best chance this week in Race 1 Gerard O'Reilly - Gerard says his best drive this week is Motu Bettor be Quick also in Race 1 John Curtin - John thinks Donegal Davy Boyd will go close to winning at Kaikoura in Race 3 Ricky May - Ricky is going for Mongolian Storm as his best drive this week in Race 6 Harnesslink Reporter - thinks Bordeaux can go close to winning at Kaikoura in Race 7   Harnesslink Media  

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